SOCHI (AFP) - Switzerland's Dario Cologna on Sunday powered to victory in the men's skiathlon at Sochi 2014, hanging on for the second Olympic gold of his career an enthralling final sprint.
He pushed ahead of his rivals with a bold move before the final corner at the Laura cross-country ski centre and just managed to keep his lead finishing in 1hr 8min 15.4sec, ahead of an attacking Marcus Hellner of Sweden, who took silver in 1:08:15.8.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway and Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia engaged in a titanic struggle for bronze with the Norwegian winning by an inch in 1:08:16.8. Russia still have no gold medals from these games.
Cologna's gold is the second of his career after he won the 15km freestyle at the Vancouver Games in 2010.
The skiathlon is a combination of 15km classic style immediately followed by 15km freestyle skating, with the competitors rapidly changing skis for the different styles in a changeover area during the race.